Full Moon Hike

My brother, Stephen, and I went on an adventure on Wednesday, as we like to do. This time it was in the form of an evening hike in the snowy hills of Pennsylvania by the light of a full moon. Unfortunately, there was a lot of cloud cover so you couldn’t actually see the moon, but I’m confident it was there.

We went with a group of like-minded people led by Venture Outdoors. We didn’t know how many people to expect, but it was a good-sized group – 21 including the two of us and the hike leaders.

It was cold and a bit windy, but it wasn’t raining or snowing, so it wasn’t so bad. Actually, once we got moving I warmed up pretty quickly! Of course, since there were a lot of us, we had to stop a number of times to regroup. That’s logical and necessary to keep everyone together, but a couple of times the break was a few minutes too long and I got cold again. But it wasn’t long before we were back to hiking and my body temperature rose again.

Prior to the start, I was concerned about my footwear: An old pair of running shoes, vents and all. Can you believe I don’t have a single pair of winter boots? I haven’t since I was a child either. Very strange, considering I have always lived in places that get snow a few months every year. I guess I’ve never gotten outside enough in the winter to find them necessary, but the few times each year I had to borrow some or go without was always annoying. After we decided to do this hike I ordered some boots, but of course they haven’t come in yet. Guess I’ll have to plan some more winter activities once they come in! As it turned out, though, the running shoes held up pretty good, thankfully.

The hike itself was invigorating! We covered 4+miles in just over two hours. There were a few breaks, as I mentioned, but when we were moving, we moved at a good pace. Stephen and I were right up front just behind the leader 95% of the time, and I like to think we helped keep the pace quick and steady.

Incidentally, often when I partake in a physical activity, I am pleasantly surprised at how well I do compared to the rest of the participants. I’m by no means perfect, but I’m a lot more physically fit than I give myself credit for. That makes me happy.

The hike was in Deer Lakes Park in Tarentum, PA, which is quite hilly. The hills were difficult at times, not just because they were steep in places, but also because they were covered in snow… and I was wearing running shoes. Of course, I enjoy challenges, so I liked the hills :) I also want to mention that I didn’t fall at all — quite a feat for the girl who, as a child, was ironically referred to as Grace because she had none.

I’ve never hiked in the snow before — or at night, for that matter. It was a neat way to burn a bunch of calories, and I look forward to doing it again. Next time with my new boots, of course!

The best part was spending quality time with my little brother. Hiking in and of itself is great, but it’s even better when done with people you enjoy being around, and Steve is definitely in that category!

I wonder what our next adventure will be…

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